On February 21, 2012, life as we knew it changed.
Thanks to the one person with the courage to make sure the secret got out, we learned the horrible and painful secret my stepdaughter had been hiding her entire childhood. My stepdaughter was the victim of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of her stepfather, Timothy Johnson.
He’s been convicted and is on the run – details to help us locate him at the bottom of this post.
Because she was so close to graduating high school, we handled the matter as delicately as possible to avoid a media frenzy that would make the remainder of her senior year even more traumatic than it already was.
Through very careful research, I called on a friend of mine who had married a police officer that I had never met. We were so concerned about any type of “conflict of interest” that could be used to Tim’s benefit when it came to prosecuting him for the horrible crimes he had kept hidden for so long.
Filing the Report
I scheduled a meeting with my friend and her husband where an initial report was filed. The report was in a John Doe/Jane Doe fashion that could be updated with names when my stepdaughter was ready to step forward on her own.
In April, 2012, she was ready to fill in the blanks. Her father and I drove her to meet with the police officer and the report was completed. In early May, she met with the lead investigator of the sex crimes unit to provide a full deposition, after which, charges were filed.
The Judicial Process
The Thursday before graduation, the arrest was made. We were so relieved to know he was in jail and graduation could be a celebration instead of a worry of what Tim might do. That didn’t last long, as his father posted a very large bail to get him released, less than 12 hours later.
In the days, weeks, months and two years that would follow – we saw a master manipulator control the justice system in a way that baffled all of us. Tim managed to get continuance after continuance for silly reasons that were just within the parameters of the law.
MugWatch.org – The Inspiration
Tim continued to live his life as normal while the rest of us endured sleepless nights, mental duress, high blood pressure, irritability and a constant state of paranoia. Because we had been so quiet in the beginning, he was able to remain in our community with no one being the wiser to what a monster he really was. There were times we would cross paths in the local businesses and our hands were tied. We couldn’t say or do anything out of fear he would turn the tables and accuse us of harassing him. We wanted this to get to trial without any faults pointed in our direction. The very fact that he worked in a service industry that had unsuspecting people opening their doors to him, every day, made my stomach ache. People had a right to know who was around them. The sex offender list does not warn people of those who are “pending trial” but are still monsters to be aware of.
The Plea Agreements
In the first year, a plea agreement was offered that would have cost him a year for every year he stole from her. He rejected it. In November 2013, another plea agreement was offered and he accepted it. That plea would have resulted in 32 years’ incarceration and a lifetime listing on the violent sex offenders list. Tim underwent all the pre-sentencing evaluations, subpoenas were served and a sentencing hearing was set. It looked like the holidays were going to be the new beginning, where everyone would begin the healing process. Unfortunately, in the eleventh-hour, Tim withdrew his plea agreement and we were notified of a new trial date that was more than three months out.
The Scope of Victimization
Just after he withdrew his plea, his daughter called my stepdaughter and told her they were hoping for a better plea. By this time, my stepdaughter was gaining the strength and power she had been denied for years. She informed her stepsister that it would be going to trial. Little did his family know, they were also being masterfully manipulated. Tim continued to victimize people with his narcissistic, selfish, pity acts. I thank God every single day for a personal angel named Nichole who is an amazing victim advocate for showing her how to nurture her inner strength and self-confidence.
The new trial date was set for March 17, 2014.
By this point, we were beginning to question the judge, the prosecutor and everyone involved for that matter. Long ago, it was said on a major late night television program that if you wanted to get away with murder, go to Henry County, Indiana. I was beginning to wonder if there wasn’t some truth to that.
I began my own diligent research and discovered the judge had been a partner in a law practice with the defense attorney. I contacted several state departments to find out just how legal that was and if there weren’t some guidelines in place that would oversee the case to ensure everything was handled according to the law and without benefits of being part of a buddy system.
To my surprise, everything was totally legit and following the law. Still, something seemed very wrong.
Again, subpoenas were delivered, everyone arranged for time off work and we were waiting with baited breath to see if it would really happen this time.
On Monday, March 17th, jury selection was underway. Thank God there are enough good, qualified citizens in our area that a jury was selected quickly. Trial was able to begin that same day.
The defense tried their hardest to throw out several reasons why a mistrial should be declared. Thankfully, the judge was fed up with the games too and she had the courage to deny their motions and continue with the trial. Obviously, Tim knew the trial date and chose not to be there. The judge said he was voluntarily absent and the trial would continue without him. However, she didn’t continue without revoking his bond and issuing a warrant for his arrest.
Sex Offender Turned Fugitive
Unfortunately, by this time, Tim had loaded up his camper and had fled the area. Whereabouts unknown.
While on the run, he pretty much wiped out his wife’s bank accounts and took a hefty home equity with him. He has a nice sized bankroll to keep him going for quite some time.
A Trial Without a Defendant
The trial lasted all of two days before the prosecution rested. The defense did not call one witness. Their only defense was that “Tim is missing” – “Tim is in poor mental shape” and “The victim’s story conflicts with that of her mother.”
Obviously the story is going to conflict – the other didn’t know what was going on in her home, almost every morning after she would leave for work. The victims’ story had never been shared with anyone. Fortunately, the jury was wise enough to see the commonalities and to see Tim was guilty of the crimes for which he was charged.
Harassment By Relative
In the days leading up to the trial, my stepdaughter endured even more harassment at the hands of his family. Text messages that were so severe she called me crying so hard she couldn’t breathe. She was afraid of what he might do to her mother. Police were called and patrols were put in place to keep everyone safe until we made it to court.
What kind of man sends a girl who has been victimized for YEARS messages telling her how much of a sin revenge is? What kind of man tells a victim he hopes she can live with Tim taking his own life? The kind who pays the bail, creates bad Karma and then has to deal with the bondsman through frozen assets and more. That’s who!
Obviously, Tim is a coward throwing out hyper-dramatic threats hoping one will stick. Instead, he runs and hides like the coward he is. The coward that prey’s on vulnerable children because he knows better than to try to victimize an adult!
Two Very Long Years
Over the course of two years, so much has happened that seemed like a fictional movie made for television and not the reality of someone’s life – HER life – Our lives.
There were many days I would pour over the files in the Indiana Appeals just to get a glimmer of hope that justice would be served, someday. All we ever wanted was for him to pay one year for every year he stole from her. I found that hope in my research – but getting to trial was a whole other story.
Trust God, He Has a Plan
Once the trial was underway, my perception changed. The judge was doing her job and doing it well. The prosecution amazed me. For the first time, I saw a lawyer act in a way that showed he had a heart and a conscience. The tears in his eyes as court adjourned told me his whole heart had been in this particular case. That act alone told me that my God had his hand on all those committed to seeing justice served throughout the entire process.
My heart hurt for the jury. It can’t be easy having the entire life of one man, rested in your own. Thankfully, the prosecution did their job and I hope and pray the members of that jury walked out of the courtroom knowing they absolutely did the right thing.
How much time will Tim serve? It could be close to triple digits and since he has been on the run, I’m confident he will be awarded the full amount of time, allowed by the law. That would mean he will spend the remainder of his natural life, in a cage with nothing to look forward to but death. Once there, I hope he lives a very long life.
Help Find Tim Johnson
The task at hand now is to find him. With technology being what it is and social media being such a valuable tool for circulating news – I hope his face is seen and recognized by as many people as it takes to get to the ONE person who will have the courage to turn him in when they see him.
Now you know our family secret. Those who know me will understand the days on Facebook that seemed like I was full of hate and contempt. It’s because I was. And I am, still.
My mind won’t rest until Tim is caught and until my precious stepdaughter sees justice working fully on her side.
Please, I beg Every One of you who read this post to go to the page that shows all the details we have on Tim, his photos, his last known whereabouts and to share it with anyone and everyone. It may be you who knows the hero that will draw this story to a close. Don’t miss that opportunity.
Go Here and Share the page. It will help more than you know! There are buttons at the bottom of the page, just click on them and share it wherever you can.